'Novak Djokovic fiasco turned into chaos and disappointment,' says Tim Henman

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'Novak Djokovic fiasco turned into chaos and disappointment,' says Tim Henman

World no. 1 Novak Djokovic had to miss his first Australian Open since 2004 after being deported from Australia following a ten-day saga over his visa. Djokovic was detained the morning after arriving in Melbourne, released and then detained for a second time when concerns regarding his previously awarded medical exemption became apparent.

An unvaccinated 20-time Major winner gave his best to stay in Australia and compete at the Australian Open, but his final appeal was rejected, and he had to leave the country. Novak's future is uncertain at the moment, with slim chances of changing his mind and taking a vaccine.

We have to wait and see for the final resolutions of the French and British governments over the status of unvaccinated passengers and will Novak be able to compete at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Tim Henman would love to see the Serb in action again, although he understands how series things are for the 20-time Major champion at this point.

Henman wishes to avoid Novak Djokovic's Australian scenario in the future, and it's already apparent that the organizers at Roland Garros and Wimbledon will not repeat the same mistake.

Novak Djokovic had to leave Australia and miss the season's opening Major.

"Unfortunately, when you reflect on the Djokovic fiasco, it was a shambles and very disappointing that it got to that stage of getting into Australia and then being in a quarantine hotel for four days, getting out and then finally being deported.

There were no winners. It was not good for Tennis Australia, and I do not think it reflected well on the government. Obviously, with Djokovic not able to play the Australian Open, it's disappointing for the event, the fans and Djokovic himself.

Fingers crossed that we do not have to witness something like that in the future. For me, the question mark moving forward is: what does Djokovic do next? It would be challenging for him to move forward with his professional career if he's not double vaccinated - it would seem he will be very limited in the countries he can get into.

I'm very interested to see what he does next, and I would emphasize that it's his prerogative. Whether an individual wants to get vaccinated or not is a personal decision. Still, as a tennis fan and seeing what Djokovic has achieved, I very much hope we see him back competing soon," Tim Henman said.